Kalaripayattu is known as mother of all martial arts. It is arguably world’s oldest martial art. It has its roots in Kerala. Let’s discuss this centuries old fighting skill.
#Origin of name:
Though there are many links for this name but the most satisfactory is its origin from Malayalam. It is combination of Malayalam words: Kalari means place for performing martial arts and payattu means trick.
- Its origin can be traced back to 15,000BC.
- It got its literary recognition as martial art form in 1362AD.
- Sage Agastya is considered as father of Kalaripayattu.
- Buddhist monk, Bodhidharma spread it across East Asia. It is believed that he trained monks of Shaolin temple that’s how Shaolin Kung Fu got birth.
#Styles of Kalaripayattu:
There are three styles of Kalaripayattu:
- Thekkan or Southern Style: This Kalari style is particularly dependent on hands and legs. It mainly focuses on self-defence. It includes kicks and throws.
- Vaddakan or Northern style: This style works through flexibility and is gymnastic in nature. It includes rapid leaps, rolls and kicks.
- Madhya-Keralam or Medieval Kerala style: It is combination of northern and southern styles.
#Schools of thought in Kalaripayattu:
- There are two schools in Kalaripayattu: Vishnu School and Shiva school.
- Vishnu school uses soft approach against enemy. It only injures him and avoids to kill him.
- Shiva school believes in destruction of opponent.
#Stages of training: There are four stages of training in Kalaripayattu. Each stage has different nature and has different level of difficulty.
- Maithari: This stage is purposed to maintain body control. It mainly focuses on flexibility, stamina, balance and body coordination.
- Kolthari: At this stage student is taught to fight with wooden weapons including Otta, Cheruvadi and Kettukari.
- Ankathari: At this stage student is allowed to use metal weapons like kadara, udaval and urumi. Urumi is flexible sword therefore it is only taught to highly skilled students having high concentration while using weapons.
- Verumkai: This stage teaches to defend all kind of attacks through bare hands.
Kalaripayattu is really amazing. It teaches way of healthy life.